Lockheed Martin Breaks Ground On Solar Power Testbed

December 04, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Lockheed Martin announced that it has broke ground on a solar power testbed to support its entry into the utility-scale renewable power generation market. The Solar System Test and Engineering Site (SolSTES) Array testbed in southern New Jersey will provide Lockheed Martin engineers the opportunity to integrate and test a variety of solar technologies and materials selected from multiple suppliers, and to conduct production modeling. The testbed frame for the facility is scheduled for completion by Spring 2009.

"The SolSTES Array testbed is an example of the thorough systems engineering and resource commitment we bring to the toughest technical challenges – especially those challenges that are clear national priorities," said Chris Myers, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President for Solar Energy Projects. "The knowledge we gain in technology integration and cost-effective production is a key advantage we will bring to nationwide opportunities – primarily in the desert southwest – for utility-scale solar generating plants."

In November 2007, Lockheed Martin teamed with Starwood Energy Group to pursue utility-scale solar generation projects in North America. Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin is responsible for engineering, procurement, manufacturing and systems integration. Starwood is primarily responsible for arranging long-term power purchase agreements, site selection, permitting, and for providing construction and permanent debt and equity financing. Since the teaming agreement was signed, Lockheed Martin and Starwood have been pursuing multiple utility-scale opportunities, and have invested in land acquisition, transmission, permitting, supplier base, technology development, and efficient, low cost, producibility techniques.

"Energy independence is a matter of national security and Lockheed Martin is pursuing the practical and affordable development of numerous renewable energy alternatives to support that goal," said Howard Luebcke, Lockheed Martin’s Director of Renewable Energy Business Development.